Hi guys,

Weather has turned for the worst here in Taupo and the lake is covered in fog and rain has been heavy all night which is just what the rivers needed for some fresh runners to move into the system. The Tongariro and its surrowndings ranges must have had some heavy stuff last night as the river has peaked at over 550 cumecs and will be unfishable for atleast the next day or so. This is a very positive thing for the river as it will have blown out some silt to the lake and removed alot of the slime which had taken hold on most rocks during the low conditions lately.Hopefully it also washed the diggers in the lower river to the delta also. This flood may even change a few pools and open up some better lies for the new fish coming up due to the higher water levels. The delta has good numbers of trout resting on the lip so these should really push into the river over the next few days giving anglers some fun sport.

The rain will not only be good for the Tongariro but will also be great for the smaller rivers such as the TT, Hine and the Waitahanui which also needed a good flush out. Fishing had become slightly harder over the last few mornings especially in the Hine and TT but should pick up over the next day or so when levels drop back to a fishable level.

I have been on the river two days over the last week and enjoyed guiding Neil and his son Brad which were here on holiday from Melbourne for the school holidays. It was so good to see a good keen young angler with a great relationship with his Dad exploring the rivers of Taupo. They were absoloute brilliant clients as their expectation was relative to their skill level and their willingness to listen and learn was just amazing. Neil and Brad were both beginers and had never picked up a fly rod before but after two days of coaching and guiding they were both casting and hooking fish without too many problems, very good going considering the fishing was supposed to be dreadfull. While many fisherman that we meet over two days were negative on the state of the fishery you could not wipe the smile of these guys faces as they had caught fish everyday and experienced the best fishing results they had ever had! Neil and Brad landed 9 fish between them and hooked a few others which managed to throw the hook early, not huge numbers I know but great results for these guys. Every fisherman’s expectations can be very different  while one angler which fancy’s himself might want 20 fish a day the next is excited about getting a good cast out without hooking their ear!

We covered many rivers including the Hine, Waiotaka, Tongariro and another secret little trickle which I cant tell you about all in which were holding trout in the usual pools. The Tongariro was supposed to be quiet but I could see fish in very accessible town pools and they were not too hard to catch. The condition of the trout were not that fantastic as they had been in the river for a little while and were quite coloured, majority being jacks. I will expect this rain to change that and the river should receive another burst of silver fish to fill up the pools.

Mornings in my opinion are always the best time to be chasing these trout in the winter and many of our fish were caught before lunch or with those first few casts through your favourite pools. Many anglers under estimate the importance of a good cast to start a fresh pool. Generally if your cast is well timed, laid out nicely, drag free and you are achieving the right depth on your fly you should hook any fish which is feeding within a couple of casts. Forget about your fly selection that should come last when fishing at this time of year, you can have the right fly on but if its not getting deep enough the trout wont even see it.

The best patterns this week many of you would have in your fly boxes with the best fly being egg patterns fish behind heavy beaded Hare and Coppers or indeed split shot. One should always carry split shot in the winter as some pools change and you will find yourself chopping and changing rigs regualy ,split shot is a quick effective way to penetrate those deep fast runs. As the day went on and the egg patterns stopped working we went to using size #14 natural patterns such as Quasimodo nymphs and PT nymphs especially in the clearer water. Natural patterns particualy worked well on the Tongariro this may have had something to do with the blanket of slime on the rocks which is perfect cover for nymphs to be living in, trout would be well aware of where they should be.

Generally things have been good and I think things will get better after this latest flood moves through. I will try and get out in the next few days for a fish with my Dad who has just arrived from Aus for another month long fishing holiday-may put him to work!!

Tight lines

Andrew